Tonight, after President Obama speaks, PBS airs a NOVA documentary about vaccine science and safety. Vaccines: Calling The Shots. It’s told through the parent, pediatrician, and community lens. If you’ve ever wondered about vaccines in America, it’s time to tune in. I’ve been in touch with the team producing this documentary. Seriously excited to hear this story unfold tonight.
(update Sept 11: watch Calling The Shots online)
I think this is a big deal. This is an investigation on the science of vaccines.
The less the disease exists, the safer I am.
It’s a balancing act. The risks happen to be minuscule… the benefits are enormous
If inclined, follow a team of parents, pediatricians, and communities tonight on Twitter while it airs: #vaccinesNOVA
“The less often we vaccinate, the more often our lives will be touched by diseases we once thought were gone” #vaccinesNOVA
— WendySueSwanson MD (@SeattleMamaDoc) September 11, 2014
Chris Johnson says
I wish I shared your confidence that good programs like this NOVA one matter in the vaccine “debate.” More and more it seems to me that people are not really interested or engaged in any way with actual data. Indeed, they don’t even understand what the concept “data” means as a medical scientist would use the term. LInes are drawn, positions taken. The fact that one position is scientifically absurd doesn’t even matter any more.
Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, MBE says
I think you’re right — we differ here. I do feel the tide moving away from parents using fear as the main (or sole) navigator in vaccine decisions and “debates” to using a bit more evidence and science. I don’t hear as many myths in clinic as I used to but I certainly do continue to witness worry. I’m hoping these beautifully produced stories (documentaries like this) will resonate more than the reports we issue in medicine or even the content I write. Pictures, coupled with story and science and sounds from children and parents and empathetic experts feel like opportunity for clarity to me. Hope I’m correct.